Shack# Jan 15, 2022
Like every other ham on the planet, I feel obligated to describe my shack.
My main HF rig is an Elecraft K3s. I live in a relatively small apartment in a semi-urban area, and space is limited, but I’ve managed to work out a deal with the neighbors so that I have a G5RV on the roof. Our lot isn’t quite big enough for it to be fully extended horizontally, so one leg slopes down at about a 30 deg angle. But it works well enough.
For HF, I mostly chase DX on SSB, but occasionally I fire up WSJT-X for FT-8, etc; the shack computer is an Apple Mac Pro “trashcan” machine running macOS.
I’ve also got an Icom IC-9100 dedicated to VHF+. It drives a slim-jim in my attic: not the best antenna, but it fits in the crawlspace. I often use it to talk on local repeaters, but it’s provisioned for weak signal work as well. I have an Alinco DR-235TMkIII for working 222MHz FM, and we are fortunate to have a few repeaters on that band nearby: the antenna is a homebrew vertical dipole mounted on a PVC shaft.
I run a packet station. This consists of an x86_64 computer running Linux and direwolf as a softmodem, driving a Tigertronics SignaLink USB external sound device, interfacing to an IC-2100H monoband mobile FM radio I bought from my friend WS3O a few years ago. The radio feeds about 75' of LMR-400 that drives a homebrew J-Pole in the attic. Again, not the best antenna, but it fits in the physical space available. The machine runs the Linux kernel-based AX.25 and NET/ROM network stacks, along with some custom code and services that allow users to connect to other computers on my internal network. I also have AXUDP tunnels to several Internet-accessible AX.25 endpoints.
I have an active AMPRNet. I wrote the instructions for setting up an OpenBSD Gateway on the AMPRNet wiki, and I wrote the 44ripd mesh maintenance daemon. The packet station runs on my AMPR subnet, connecting the two networks.
I plan to add a second radio to the packet station dedicated to APRS.
I have various and sundry HTs and other bits of kit for working FM on 2m and 70cm, DMR on either band, mobile HF, etc. I’m working on putting together a mobile, battery operated packet station for roaming around, based on a portable monitor, Raspberry Pi 400 “computer in a keyboard” and packable battery.